Permanent Under Secretary of State for War

From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
United Kingdom
Office of the Permanent Under Secretary of State for War
Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1952.png
Royal Arms as used by His Majesty's Government
War Office
StyleThe Right Honourable
(Formal prefix)
Permanent Under Secretary of State for War
Member ofBritish Cabinet
Army Council
SeatWestminster, London
AppointerThe British Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthNo fixed term
Formation1854-1966
First holderSir Benjamin Hawes
Final holderA. Drew

The Permanent Under Secretary of State for War, commonly called the Permanent Secretary, was a senior civil servant and British Cabinet level position which existed from 1857 to 1966. The Permanent Under Secretary of State for War headed Department of the Permanent Under Secretary of State for War. He was based at the War Office and he reported to the Secretary of State for War.

History

On the establishment of the separate Department of the Secretary of State for War in 1854 a Military Under Secretary of State for War was appointed to share with the Parliamentary Under Secretary for War the administration of the Department.The civil service was represented when Godfrey Charles Mundy transferred from the Colonial Office and was appointed Permanent Under Secretary of for War.[1] They were joined in 1855 by the Deputy Secretary at War on the merger with the War Office. In 1857 the former duties of the Military Under Secretary for War along with the Deputy Secretary at War were undertaken by the civilian Permanent Under Secretary of State for War and an Assistant Under Secretary for War. The Permanent Under Secretary and his subordinate secretaries superintended of various offices and departments. In 1861 the office of Assistant Under Secretary for War lapsed and a second Military Permanent Under Secretary of State for War was appointed to join the (civilian) Permanent Under Secretary of State for War. In 1862 the civilian under secretaryship was abolished and the previous office of Assistant Under Secretary was revived.[2]

In 1868 a Comptroller-in-Chief of the Army, with the rank of a second Permanent Under Secretary, was appointed to take charge of the Stores, Clothing, Contracts, Commissariat, Purveyor's and Barrack Departments. The First Clerk’s Branch established in the new War Office in 1855 was divided in 1857 into a Chief Clerk’s Branch and an Assistant Chief Clerk’s Branch; a further subdivision in 1858 created a Militia Branch out of the former. In 1861 the Assistant Chief Clerk’s Branch was abolished, its functions being divided between the Chief Clerk’s Branch and the Military Assistant’s Branch. The Chief Clerk’s Branch was now responsible for War Office establishment, military education, submissions to the Queen, printing, army forms, stationery, library and educational supplies and the Registry (R). In 1866 the Chief Clerk’s Branch, the Military Assistant’s Branch and the Library were merged to form the Central Department under the Permanent Under Secretary.[3]

In the reorganisation of 1870 the office of Assistant Under Secretary of State for War was once again abolished and his Accounts Department passed to the Financial Secretary to the War Office. The Permanent Under Secretary became once more a civilian and his responsibilities were confined to the Central Department, which he superintended jointly with the Parliamentary Under Secretary. The Central Department, which was composed of the Chief Clerk’s Division and the Solicitor’s (later Legal Secretary's) Division, lost some of its former functions to the Military and Finance Departments. In 1887 the Central Department changed its name to Central Office, but remained unchanged. In 1904 the Central Office was renamed the Department of the Secretary until 1924 when it was altered again to the Department of the Permanent Under Secretary of State for War, 1924-1964.[4]

Office Holders

Name Term
Godfrey Charles Mundy[5] 1854–1857
Sir Benjamin Hawes[6][7][8] 1857–1861
Sir Edward Lugard 1870–1871
John Vivian.[9] 1871–1878
Sir Ralph Wood Thompson 1878–1895
Sir Arthur Haliburton 1895–1897
Sir Ralph Henry Knox 1897–1901
Sir Edward Ward 1901–1914
Sir Reginald Brade 1914–1920
Sir Herbert Creedy 1920–1939
Sir P. J. Grigg 1939–1942
Sir Frederick Bovenschen and Sir Eric Speed 1942–1945
Sir E. Speed 1945–1949
Sir G. Turner 1949–1956
Sir Edward Playfair 1956–1960
Richard Way 1960–1963
A. Drew 1963–1964

Departments under this Office

Included:[10]

  1. Central Department (1866-1887)
  2. Central Office (1887-1904)
  3. Department of the Secretary (1904-1924)
  4. Department of the Permanent Under Secretary of State for War (1924-1966)


Footnotes

  1. Sainty, J. C. (1976). "Lists of appointments: British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk. University of London. pp. 9–32. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  2. Roper, Dr Michael (1998). The records of the War Office and related departments, 1660-1964. London: Public Record Office. pp. 195–196. ISBN 1873162456.
  3. Roper, pp.195-196.
  4. Roper, pp.195-196.
  5. Sainty, J.C. (1976). "Alphabetical list of officials: British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk. University of London. pp. 36–51. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  6. Harts Army List: New Annual Army List and Militia List. London: John Murray. 1858. p. 480.
  7. Harts Army List, 1859. p.462.
  8. Harts Army List, 1861. p.474.
  9. London Gazette, 29 August 1871
  10. Roper, pp.198-202.

Bibliography

  1. 'Alphabetical list of officials', in Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 6, Colonial Office Officials 1794-1870, ed. J C Sainty (London, 1976), pp. 36-51. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/office-holders/vol6/pp36-51 [accessed 26 September 2019].
  2. 'Lists of appointments', in Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 6, Colonial Office Officials 1794-1870, ed. J C Sainty (London, 1976), pp. 8-32. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/office-holders/vol6/pp8-32 [accessed 26 September 2019].
  3. Roper, Dr Michael (1998). The records of the War Office and related departments, 1660-1964. London: Public Record Office. ISBN 1873162456.